About Us

OUR

MISSION

Texas Health Action (THA) is a community informed 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to providing access to culturally affirming, quality health services in a safe and supportive environment with an expertise in serving LGBTQIA+ people and people impacted by HIV. Since 2015, Texas Health Action has provided health services without stigma or judgment and has empowered the community through outreach and education. Texas Health Action operates Kind Clinic, which provides sexual health services through locations across Central Texas; TeleKind, which provides sexual health services via virtual visits and at-home testing; and Waterloo Counseling Center, which provides behavioral health services in Austin. Texas Health Action is led by CEO Christopher Hamilton. .

OUR

VALUES

Accountability for self and others

Cultivate Trust in all our relationships

Total Inclusion

Drive Innovation

Respect all

Pursue Excellence

OUR

LEADERSHIP

Christopher
Hamilton

CEO

Christopher Hamilton was named CEO of the Texas Health Action in March 2018. Over the course of his 18-year career…

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Hamilton has always leaned into his passion for improving healthcare access and initiatives for the betterment of Central Texas residents.This journey has led Hamilton to serve in leadership roles where he has had the opportunity to create and launch successful healthcare, education and advocacy programs for a number of organizations.

Prior to Texas Health Action, Hamilton held numerous leadership positions over nine years within the Seton Healthcare Family system. Most recently, he served as the director of Oncology Service Line where he spearheaded the development of an oncology service line in partnership with the newly established LIVESTRONG Cancer Institutes at Dell Medical School at the University of Texas at Austin. Among his many roles at Seton, he was fortunate to have had the opportunity to work with many leading doctors to develop life-changing, innovative and comprehensive programs for pediatric, adolescent and young adult survivors, and adult cancer survivors.

His strategic guidance has helped improve operational efficiencies and processes across the Seton Healthcare Family system in areas such as patient navigation, clinical trial accrual, and analytic capabilities. In his previous role as a health planner, he oversaw HIV services for 43 counties in Central Texas. Outside of his day-to-day responsibilities, Hamilton has given his time and counsel to several boards including the City of Austin Boards and Commissions HIV Planning Council, and the Brazos Valley Council on Alcohol and Substance Abuse.

Hamilton’s passion for improving access to quality health care in not-for-profit, mission-driven organizations ignited during his time at Texas A&M University. Upon graduation from Texas A&M University, Hamilton held operations and communications representative roles with the College of Medicine, which enabled him to better understand the challenges facing the health sector and how to focus on advancements.

Enjoying all that Austin has to offer, Hamilton and his partner Casey have two Italian greyhound dogs and can often be found around the city listening to live music and enjoying new restaurants.

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Megan
Brunson

COO

Megan Brunson was named Chief Operating Officer of Texas Health Action in February 2019.

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Megan’s career in healthcare leadership spans over 14 years, in which she has focused on clinical operations and risk reduction programs across hospital, outpatient clinic, and the home health sectors.

Prior to Texas Health Action, Megan served as the National Director of Operations for Amputation Prevention Centers of America beginning in 2015, where she focused on developing national educational programs and opening outpatient clinics across the country dedicated to reducing amputation rates in patients with chronic diseases like diabetes.

Before relocating to Austin in 2015, Megan worked with Paradigm Medical Management in San Francisco, CA, where she oversaw specialty surgical programs across multiple hospital campuses affiliated with University of California San Francisco and Dignity Health, focusing on plastic, reconstructive, orthopedic, and vascular surgery. The first Amputation Prevention Center grew out of a combination of these programs, and propelled Megan into her next role.

Megan’s life, education, and career have taken her on what she calls a “warmer weather migration,” starting where she grew up, in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, to the Seattle area where she graduated with her undergraduate degree in Communications from the University of Puget Sound. She completed her master’s degree in Business Administration and Management at Colorado State University, spent 5 years in San Francisco, and finally, (and, she notes, permanently) found Austin.

Megan shares THA’s passion for advancing sexual wellness and education in a safe and sex-positive environment and is passionate about making healthcare available and accessible to everyone. When Megan isn’t hard at work with the other members of the THA team, she loves to cook, binge on podcasts, and spend time in the sun by the pool with her husband, Kelly. They live in downtown Austin with their two cats, Jack and Jules.

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Christopher
Adams

CFO

A native of Houston, Christopher Adams moved to Austin in 1998 to attend the University of Texas at Austin and simply never left…

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Like many Austinites, Chris loves eating tacos, relaxing at Barton Springs, riding his bike, complaining about the traffic, and bemoaning the gentrification of the east side. Chris grew up in a community with a tireless devotion to volunteerism and he does his best to continue to embody that spirit as an adult. He has invested time volunteering and serving in leadership roles with various human services and recreational sports organizations and has loved every second of it.

Chris currently serves as the CFO/CIO of Any Baby Can Child and Family Resource Center and never passes up an opportunity to explain to a reluctant student (of any age) why math is important. Prior to Any Baby Can, Chris spent 14 years working (and bleeding burnt orange) at the big university downtown overseeing financial affairs, grant administration, business operations, and information technology for various world-class, academic departments.

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Nicholas
Galbraith

CMCO

A native of West Texas, Galbraith joined Texas Health action in November of 2019 as the organization’s first chief marketing and communications officer. In this role,…

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Galbraith leads strategic marketing and public relations efforts that promote THA’s commitment to expand access to sexual wellness services in a safe and supportive environment.

Nicholas most recently served as the director of marketing and communications for the prestigious MCC Theater in New York City, where he led rebranding efforts and the launch of a new multi-theater complex in Manhattan. Previously, Galbraith served in various communications roles, including director of advocacy communications and media at Autism Speaks; communications director for Staci Appel’s 2014 congressional campaign in Iowa; as well as roles with the Empire State Pride Agenda, New York’s oldest LGBT advocacy organization; and Planet Forward, a climate project of the Center for Innovative Media in Washington, D.C.

Galbraith earned a bachelor’s degree in fine arts at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, and a Master of Arts in media and public affairs at The George Washington University in Washington, D.C. He is currently pursuing an MBA virtually from the University of Wisconsin.

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OUR

BOARD

Johnny
Devora

Board Chair

Johnny Devora is the Broker and CEO of Devora Realty, a boutique commercial, residential and development real estate brokerage.

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Devora Realty specializes in the marketing, acquisition, adaptive re-positioning, development and disposition of multi-family and commercial properties.

Johnny’s previous professional experience includes event coordination, constituent services and grant writing with various government and non-profit agencies. He is an investor in local Austin startups, an Ironman Triathlete and Big Brother through the Big Brother Big Sister Organization of Central Texas.

Johnny received his B.S. in Political Science with a minor in business Administration from Texas State University.

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Rick
Cofer

Vice Chair

Rick Cofer is an Austin criminal defense attorney with extensive legal, political, and non-profit experience. He previously served as a Travis County Assistant District Attorney and Assistant County Attorney — prosecuting crimes ranging from DWI, assault, drugs, robbery, sexual assault and murder.

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Outside of his legal work, Rick has been deeply involved in the Austin community in several capacities. He is a current Board Member and immediate past Board Chair of the Ending Community Homelessness Coalition (ECHO). He has previously served as Vice Chair of the City of Austin Parks and Recreation Board, Board Chair of the Pease Park Conservancy, and as a longtime Commissioner and Chair of the City of Austin Zero Waste Commission.

As a Commissioner, Rick led the effort to ban plastic bags in Austin and develop the Austin Universal Recycling Ordinance.

Rick also has extensive political experience, having managed and consulted for numerous political campaigns. He has been Parliamentarian of the Texas Democratic Party since 2012, previously served on the Democratic National Committee and worked for Barack Obama’s 2008 campaign.

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Michelle
Auwae-Lapilio

Secretary

Michelle Auwae-Lapilio’s dynamic 20-year public service record is balanced by her military and civil service, and her longtime devotion to community service.

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An Air Force Veteran with a Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Texas at Austin, Michelle serves as the Travis County Probate Court Business Analyst. Michelle has spent her tenure with Travis County working to modernize and improve systems and processes by way of analyzing and understanding nature, culture, and behavior.

Michelle seeks out spaces where she can balance her professional skills with her passion for community in a meaningful and impactful way. A faithful advocate of social equality and justice, she works to bring focus and change to structural inequities. Michelle proudly served as the Director of Outreach for the non-profit organization, Austin Pride, and as a queer African American, she strives to aid the diverse and flourishing LGBTQIA+ community through greater visibility and access.

Having worked with the Texas Health Action organization since the fall of 2017, and serving as a Board Director since November of 2018, Michelle is honored to be a part of the mission of the impressive, fast-moving train that is Texas Health Action. As the Board Secretary, she enjoys putting her unique lens and skills in policy, planning, and strategy to work. She believes that access and freedom in healthcare is of critical importance, and that innovation and perseverance are the keys to realizing that goal.

In her rare downtime, Michelle treasures spending time with her family, friends, and dogs, and traveling any chance she can.

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Rich
Gottbrath

Rich Gottbrath is the Chief Executive Officer of Greenhaven Investments, an Austin-based private investment and consulting firm.

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At Greenhaven, Rich works closely with clients in evaluation of new investment opportunities and execution of tailored private equity, real estate, and venture capital investment strategies. As a hands-on investor and operating partner, Rich helps entrepreneurs and leadership teams tackle the legal, administrative, financial, and operational scaling challenges faced by growing organizations. He has extensive experience leading the scale-up efforts of start-ups in both the non- and for-profit spaces.

Prior to founding Greenhaven, Rich served as Chief of Staff and Director of Strategic Development & Planning at Accent Food Services. Rich began his career at Lincoln International, a Chicago-based middle market investment banking advisory firm. He was a founding member of Lincoln’s Dallas office, and spent time working across the firm’s offices in the US and Europe. Rich graduated from the Kelley School of Business at Indiana University where he remains an active alumnus.

Rich also serves on the board of Austin Area Art From The Streets (dedicated to providing homeless artists with a creative outlet) as well as a number of corporate boards. He splits time between Austin and San Antonio, but grew up in Louisville, Kentucky.

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Nikelle S.
Meade

Nikelle S. Meade is an attorney with the law firm of Husch Blackwell LLP in Austin, Texas. 

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Ms. Meade’s practice is focused on representation of clients before state and local governmental agencies on real estate development, procurement, and economic development matters.

Her work includes zoning, permitting, land use planning, incentive agreements, development application processing, business development, governmental relations, and government contracts. She also has vast experience in commercial transactions including purchases and sales, leases, public finance, and general contracts.

During prior legal appointments, she served as Judicial Intern for Justice Jack Hightower of the Supreme Court of Texas, as a Legislative Intern for State Representative Dawnna M. Dukes, as an Associate Attorney with Minter Joseph & Thornhill, P.C., and as a Partner at Brown McCarroll L.L.P. Ms. Meade’s professional affiliations include the American Bar Association State and Local Government Section and Section of Real Property, Trust, and Estate Law, the State Bar of Texas, the Texas Bar Foundation, the Austin Bar Association, the American Planning Association, the Urban Land Institute, The National Council for Public-Private Partnerships, the Real Estate Council of Austin, and CREW (Commercial Real Estate Women). She formerly served as Travis County Judge Sam Biscoe’s appointee to the Federally Qualified Health Centers Board of Directors, and has served since 2007 as the Travis County Commissioners Court’s appointee to the Central Texas Regional Mobility Authority Board. She is currently Vice-Chair of the Mobility Authority Board of Directors.

Ms. Meade’s recognitions include:

  • The Best Lawyers in America, Real Estate Law, Litigation – Land Use and Zoning, 2018, 2019
  • Austin Black Business Journal Top 10 Central Texas Lawyers, 2019
  • The National Business Journals’ Top 100 Influencers in Law, 2018
  • Texas Super Lawyers, Land Use Zoning/Legal & Government Affairs – 2017, 2018, 2019
  • Travis County Recognition of Service Award, 2018
  • Kappa Alpha Psi Outstanding Community Leader Award, 2013
  • Austin Business Journal, Top 20 People to Know, 2012
  • Austin Business Journal, Profiles in Power Award, 2007, 2009
  • Austin Under 40, winner; Frost Bank Legal, 2008
  • Texas Bar Foundation Fellow, 2013-present
  • Texas Super Lawyers Rising Star, 2004, 2005, 2006

Ms. Meade’s community involvement includes:

  • AARO (Austin Area Research Organization), Member
  • Ballet Austin, Board of Directors
  • Downtown Austin Alliance, Board of Directors
  • HAAM (Health Alliance for Austin Musicians), Board of Directors
  • Umlauf Sculpture Garden and Museum, Board of Directors

Ms. Meade received a Bachelor of Arts degree in English Literature and Psychology from the University of Texas at Austin in 1992 and a Doctorate of Jurisprudence from the University of Texas School of Law

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Melanie
Pokluda

Immediate Past Chair

Melanie has been in Austin since 1987. Along with spending her time on Texas Health Action and its growth, she owns Moonlit Properties, where she seeks to protect Austin’s neighborhoods by rehabilitating homes in a sustainable way.

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Her previous professional career was as co-founder of Taurus Academy, where she trained and cared for thousands of dogs and their owners, as well as her amazing team, for 24 years.

She has a B.A. in History from UT, a Masters in Environmental Ethics and Philosophy from UNT, and attended UT Law School. Melanie has contributed to the Austin community by serving on several city advisory boards, and by serving on the boards of Emancipet and THA/The KIND Clinic. She has also volunteered as a Master Gardener and drove for Meals on Wheels for over 20 years.

Melanie loves fitness, climbing, reading, friends, travel, diving, the outdoors, and music.

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Dana
Sprute, M.D., MPH

Dana Sprute, M.D., MPH, FAAFP, is an associate professor in the Department of Population Health, Division of Family Medicine and program director of the Family Medicine Residency, where she enjoys teaching and clinical practice.

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Sprute is a native of Idaho. She earned her Master’s in Public Health from the University of California, Los Angeles, and medical degree from The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio. As a family physician and educator of adult learners, Sprute is dedicated to caring for communities that are most vulnerable, community service and lifelong learning. She enjoys all aspects of medicine and has spent her professional career teaching family medicine residents, medical students and other health care learners and working in community-based clinics as a primary care physician.

Sprute served as the medical director for a tattoo removal program for at-risk youth in Austin from 1999 to 2017. Additionally, she has served as Physician of the Day for the Texas State Legislature since 2007. To develop her skills in academic medicine and leadership, she completed the Family Medicine Faculty Development Fellowship at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2002 and the National Institute of Program Director Development sponsored by the American Academy of Family Physicians, Society of Teachers of Family Medicine and Association of Family Medicine Residency Directors in 2011. She continues to serve on multiple committees in the community to advocate for her patients and medical education.

Sprute is affiliated with several professional organizations, including American Academy of Family Physicians, Association of Family Medicine Residency Directors, Society of Teachers of Family Medicine, Texas Academy of Family Physicians, Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, Texas Medical Association and Travis County Medical Society. She serves on the Texas Medical Association Council on Medical Education; Texas Academy of Family Physicians Commission on Academic Affairs and Commission on Public Health, Clinical Affairs and Research; Texas Health Action Board of Directors; Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board Family Practice Advisory Committee; and Dell Medical School Faculty Senate.

Sprute has received several awards recognizing her work and contributions to academic medicine, including the Dell Medical School Excellence in Teaching Award in 2019 and Academy of Distinguished Educators in 2017. She was honored by the American Academy of Family Physicians and Association of Family Medicine Residency Directors with the Program Director Recognition Award, Silver Level in 2018 and Bronze Level in 2014 and the Texas Medical Association with the Award for Excellence in Academic Medicine, Silver Level in 2016 and Bronze Level in 2013. Sprute was honored by her peers in 2014 when she was named to the Austin Monthly’s 2014 Annual Best Physicians List.

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Dr. David
Weigle

Dr. David Weigle is the Assistant Dean for Graduate Medical Education and the Designated Institutional Official for the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, TX.

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In that capacity he oversees nearly 200 medical residency and fellowship training programs in one of the largest graduate medical education enterprises in the nation. In addition to his faculty appointment at UT Southwestern, he has held faculty appointments at the University of Texas Medical Branch and Central Texas Medical Foundation as well as adjunct appointments at the University of Texas at Austin, St. Edwards University, Texas State University, and St. Mary’s University.

Dr. Weigle has served on multiple boards, commissions, and committees at the national, state, and local levels, including the Committee on Accreditation of the American Library Association, the Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant (Vice-Chair), the Appeals Committee of the Commission on Dental Accreditation, the Austin HIV/STD Community Planning Group, and the GLBT Special Interest Group of the Texas Psychological Association (Chair). He has been certified by the American College of Healthcare Executives, the National Board of Public Health Examiners, the National Commission for Health Education Credentialing, the National Board of Certified Counselors, and the Council for Certification of IRB Professionals and Public Responsibility in Medicine and Research. He earned a PhD in Counseling Psychology from Texas A&M University, a masters degree in Counseling and Guidance from Texas State University, another masters degree in Public Health from the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, and a bachelors degree with a double major in music and psychology from Houston Baptist University. He is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and a Licensed Professional Counselor although he no longer practices regularly as a mental health professional.

Music has long been Dr. Weigle’s favorite avocation. He was the Founding Artistic Director of the Austin Gay Men’s Chorus (and remains proud that AGMC continues to thrive!). He plays organ and piano professionally, and he is a current officer of the Dallas Chapter of the American Guild of Organists.

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OUR

AWARDS

  • 2017 – The Austin Chronicle’s Best of Austin “Most Innovative Medical Care” (Kind Clinic)
  • 2018 – The Texas Medical Association Foundation’s (TMAF) John P. McGovern Champion of Health Secondary Award (Kind Clinic)
  • 2019 – Texas Academy of Family Physicians’ Public Health Award presented to Kind Clinic’s Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Cynthia Brinson
  • 2019 – The Austin Chronicle’s Best of Austin “Services Wild Card” (Kind Clinic)
  • 2020 – The Austin LGBT Chamber of Commerce Business Awards “Health and Wellness” (Kind Clinic)
  • 2020 – Out Youth’s OUTStanding Community Partner Award (Kind Clinic)

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Texas Health Action is a tax-exempt 501(c)(3) not for profit charitable organization, EIN: 47-3809253

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